What's the Perfect Church?
There is no such thing as a perfect church. Most Christians agree on that!
Why then does it shock us when something happens in the church that absolutely should not have happened? Yes, of course, it’s okay if it happens in the world, but in the church, among the saints?!
Disgusting! How could this be!
But wait a minute! Why are we contradicting ourselves? In one breath we say the church isn’t perfect, and at the same time we act offended by its imperfections.
Isn’t it, because we have an idea of what the church “is” or really “should be”, and we expect it to match up to that picture?
But the church fails. We fail… Again and again.
Yet, where does that picture of the unfailing church come from?
Do we get it from the Bible and the first church? Or is it just our own idealized, romantic view, our illusion of the church?
I don’t think that this is how Jesus viewed his first twelve disciples. They were anything but perfect. And it’s not the picture we get of the first church in Jerusalem either. And definitely not the churches that Paul wrote to!
Would the Early Church ever have matched up to our expectations?
One thing is for sure, Jesus doesn’t get nervous when looking at our failures. Obviously, he knew from the beginning what kind of people we are, and must have taken that into account.
Therefore, he commanded us to forgive each other. And with that he is not willing to compromise, because it is the only way we can proceed.
Moreover, he gave us the mandate to forgive in his name, by his grace. This is powerful! This changes everything!
And in his sight, that makes us truly ‘perfect’.